I couldn’t agree with this more…

I read this article with tears streaming down my face.  The comments that followed made me ill.  People were disagreeing with the author…belittling addiction and that it is someone’s free will to stop drinking/drugging.  Clearly these folks have never been touched by the disease of addiction.  I have.  I have seen a man deteriorate before my eyes.  Anyone who knew him saw the way he looked at his children and the way he spoke of them.  Given the chance not to live in his hell and be here right now to watch them grow…I have no doubt that is 100% what he’d do.  Right on Corrigan.

Corrigan Vaughan

PhD student and pop culture blogger for ElectricFeast.com

A Note About Philip Seymour Hoffman: Addiction Is Not Selfish

Posted: 04/02/2014 09:30
Philip Seymour Hoffman
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hilip Seymour Hoffman’s death is the worst. Seriously. In much the same way that Chris Kelly’s was. Or Cory Monteith’s. And if you’re now looking at me like I’m crazy for even using Hoffman and Monteith in the same article, hear me out: It’s not because they were equal talents. Your opinion on that probably depends on whether you’re 15 or 35. This is not about losing one of the greatest talents of our time. Their deaths are horrific because they died alone, victims of an incredibly lonely disease. And what’s worse, they didn’t have to be alone. Loving significant others, loving children, admiration from everyone around them- if they could, I’m sure they would have chosen those things.

My dad was my biggest fan. He was the biggest fan of all of his kids. I was probably the only one who realised it, and I understand why. But when he died, wasted away and a shell of his former self after a lethal fall, the only possessions he had were photos of us and letters we’d written him decades ago. He would have liked to have been at our sporting events and our graduations, but instead he was drinking himself to death in a second-floor apartment in my hometown, bipolar disorder only adding immediacy to the fatal inevitabilities of his alcoholism. Anyone who thinks dying from an overdose is selfish has a weird idea of what an addict wants out of life. There comes a point at which drinking, drug use, all that – they’re not fun anymore. Philip Seymour Hoffman wasn’t out partying. He was alone in his bathroom, compelled. Cory Monteith in his hotel room. Chris Kelly in his living room. All the money in the world, all the adoring fans in the world, and, to see the comments people make on their deaths, they were selfish assholes who chose drugs over the people who loved them.

I guarantee that every time Hoffman put that needle in his arm, he felt guilty. He felt conflicted. He craved that high that would take the pain away, but knew the pain he caused himself and those around him every time he took a hit.

We all have destructive habits. If we’re lucky, it’s watching too much TV when it’s inhibiting our productivity, or looking at porn when we think it’s a sin, or lying, cheating, overeating. If we’re lucky, our addictions won’t kill us. The majority of us can go through a partying phase and then grow up, settle down, and put down the sauce. But for an unfortunate group, the need to keep going becomes as pervasive as the need to eat or sleep. And we call them selfish, as if they would prefer to be a slave to the thing that’s ruining everything good in their lives.

When tragedies like these deaths happen to celebrities, they should be a wake-up call for the rest of us. If someone who has everything going for them can be so horribly enslaved to what they know could kill them, imagine what it’s like for the average addict. Addiction is bigger than class, race, religion, or any other factor that one might hope would reduce its captive hold. Succumbing to it isn’t selfish. It’s horribly sad and extremely difficult to prevent, even though it is, in theory, preventable. The way we talk about a celebrity who ODs says a lot about the way we think about people who are struggling around us. It’s time we tried to understand struggles we don’t endure ourselves. It’s called empathy, and we could all use a lot more of it.

This post originally appeared on Electric Feast.

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Wendy’s California Style Eggs Bennie

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I have been taking a little blog break the last month or two.  I am bouncing in my head how to capture the adventures of the weeks over the holidays…but I am still not sure which angle to take in purging it here.  So, until then I figured sharing a recipe would be a safe way to ease back in to my writing. (Not to mention I have been hounded for this recipe since posting the food porn picture to Facebook!)

It was a snow day and I was home with the kids.  I made their traditional breakfast sandwich.  English muffins, egg, ham and cheese (Zzzzz). Same way I’d been making it for years.  After a few trips to the fridge while assembling breakfast, ingredients kept jumping out at me and I started to get a hankering for something a little more than the boring sandwich my kids were happily gobbling up.  This was going to be my fist attempt at Eggs Benedict. But with a twist.  With all my years cooking I had never even poached an egg!!  Easy peasy. The sauce was more involved than I had expected, but definitely worth it!! I have to say, when ordering it in a restaurant, I NEVER eat more than half and I always take the rest home for the dog.  Not this time…I ate the whole thing!  Then I couldn’t help but take a long winter’s nap!

I will definitely be making this again when I want a treat!  I will work on a lighter version in the near future for those of us who like to watch the calorie intake.  And for those of you who don’t…stick with this!  Yum!

Wendy’s California Style Eggs Bennie

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the hollandaise sauce:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (I know…YIKES! Let this be a splurge day!)

6 large egg yolks (Yikes again!)

1/2 cup boiling water

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon Cayenne

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

For the eggs benedict:

2 eggs, poached (recipe and tips following)

2 English muffins, split, toasted and buttered

4 slices thin sliced deli honey ham (I used Inspiration wildflower honey ham…delish)

4 avocado slices, 1/4 inch thick

4 tomato slices, 1/4 inch thick

2 slices Provolone, cut in 1/2

For garnish:  Sea salt, scallions, black pepper

Instructions:

For the hollandaise sauce:

1. In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water set on medium heat, whisk the butter and egg yolks together until smooth.

2. Very…very slowly, add the 1/2 cup boiling water to the mixture, whisking constantly.  (You do not want the eggs to cook).

3. Whisking constantly, heat the mixture until it is thickened and reads 160 degrees on your instant-read thermometer.  (It took mine about 10 minutes or so).

4. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

5. Gently whisk in the lemon juice, black pepper, garlic salt, sea salt, cayenne and nutmeg.  Serve warm.

6.  To assemble the Eggs Benedict: Place the 1/2 slice cheese on top of the toasted English muffin.  Warm the ham slices in a fry pan and place one slice on top of the cheese. Top with avocado, then tomato and poached egg.  Lightly (or not !!) drizzle the hollandaise sauce over top.  Garnish with fresh scallions, salt, and pepper, if using.

Tip:

For poaching the eggs add a teaspoon of vinegar to the just boiling water.  I used rice vinegar, but I am told you can use any type.  This helps hold the egg together while cooking. Use the top lid of a mason jar and drop that into the gently boiling water. Carefully crack the egg into a teacup and then hold the cup at the water’s surface and carefully put the egg in the water over the mason jar lid.  The egg should settle right into the lid. Cover the pan and remove from the heat and let sit for four minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, scoop the egg and lid out of the water and remove the lid from the egg. A perfectly round and perfectly cooked poached egg! Ta da!!